The idea of a luxury villa holiday always sounds glamourous until you try to book it yourself. With an increased number of private accommodations now accessible online, the process of accessing premier inventory has become much easier, but most discerning travelers still have the same concerns. Is the location a good one? Are the photos a true representation of the villa? Is the cleanliness and the linens up to my standards? And, what if I need assistance with a last-minute request in an unknown territory? Bottom line, the luxury villa experience is not just about the physical space. We want and need service, and our expectations are only elevated as the price ranges increase.
Grown out of personal frustrations of booking their own villa holidays, the founders of Ministry of Villas created an exceptional travel platform that marries personally inspected luxury villas throughout Asia with a personalized concierge service to provide all the logistics you may require. The state of the art technology used for their online platform provides you with intuitive navigation and filters to help you easily find the villa that meets your specifications. Real time availability and the price match guarantee ensure that you receive the latest occupancy and the best price. Booking a villa with Ministry of Villas is as simple and efficient as booking a hotel.
Additionally, if the idea of sorting through hundreds of villas to find the perfect one to accommodate everyone from your parents to three children, including tweens, sounds too exhausting, then you can simply give them your criteria via phone or email, and they will do the groundwork and populate a listing of villas that perfectly fit your specific needs and budget. Villa specialist can also help you to arrange services including car service, on-site activities, catering, and babysitting.
With an inventory of more than 1,000 villas throughout Asia; including Bali, Lombok, Koh Samui, Phuket, Galle, Maldives, and Niseko, there is something for everyone from a one bedroom quite couple’s getaway to a 10-bedroom retreat for your office.
Book your villa holiday with our exclusive offer: https://www.ministryofvillas.com/tamarind-living.
Visit the ‘On Sale” page for discounts up to 50% on select properties booked within 14 days of arrival.
Terms & Conditions: Minimum booking value of USD $1,000.00 with a two-night consecutive stay.
Offer is not valid with any other promotions.
Learn more about Ministry of Villas in our exclusive interview with Co-Founder and CEO, Alastair Loxton:
TL: Founded in 2013, Ministry of Villas has quickly become Asia’s authority for online premium holiday rentals. With an established background in technology, what inspired you to start Ministry of Villas?
AS: My wife and I experienced multiple disappointments throughout our villa holiday planning process. For example, it took us days to get hold of the property owner; only to find out that the villa was not available or completely unsuitable for us. After mastering the art of finding and planning our own villa holidays, we started Ministry of Villas to remove these frustrations and make the booking process efficient, reliable and stress free. We did this by marrying amazing villas inventory with cutting-edge booking technology and exceptional personal service.
TL: In 2013, Ministry of Villas partnered with Tourism Holdings bringing the Resonline’s hotel channel management technology to the private accommodations arena in Asia. How has this technology revolutionized inventory management for property owners and aided the consumer’s booking experience?
AS: With the launch of Ministry of Villas and the introduction of Tourism Holdings’ technology, Resonline, booking a luxury villa is as simple as booking a hotel accommodation on one of the giant travel sites. This partnership provides customer both a stress-free search and reservation making experience.
From a supplier perspective, our channel manager, Resonline, gives smaller, private accommodation owners the same technology utilised by global hotel brands. Manual calendar updates and emails back and forth are made redundant, as Resonline synchronises hundreds of channels (including Booking.com, Airbnb, TripAdvisor and Ministry of Villas) every minute ensuring 100% accuracy for availability and real-time prices.
TL: With much of the private accommodations rental market now globally accessible online, it can be confusing for consumers to understand the difference between various suppliers. How do you differentiate the type of inventory and the services available through Ministry of Villas from other private accommodation suppliers, such as Airbnb and Home Away?
AS: The sharing economy, with Airbnb leading the charge, has certainly helped inspire travellers, who would normally only book a hotel, to experience staying in a villa. However, the concept has drawbacks since there is a palpable lack of quality control, making it inherently risky, with no one to turn to for independent advice or help. Then, the peer-to-peer booking process involves inefficient back-and-forth emails with numerous property owners, resulting in a wasted investment of time and money.
In terms of inventory, where many sharing economy websites like Airbnb invite anyone and everyone to list their properties, at Ministry of Villas, we only work with property management companies and villa owners with utmost credibility. We believe that the people managing the property are vital to delivering a quality product and experience, as they are directly responsible for managing the property’s physical product, landscape, security and staff. Additionally, our staff personally inspects each property against a standardized quality criteria to ensure that what you see and read about online is in fact what you will receive.
Besides improving the technology that underpins the booking process, we knew adding personal service to the equation was needed to make booking a villa holiday a stress-free experience. For example, we knew from our personal experience that arriving in a foreign country and trying to find an independent property on your own can be stressful. We wanted to eliminate this anxiety, so we arrange a chauffeur to pick you up at the airport and transfer you to the villa where you will be greeted by the villa staff or property manager who will familiarize you with the property and the surroundings. With Airbnb, you are on your own.
Additionally, our partnership with Mastercard Priceless Cities will provide you with extras that you will not receive anywhere else; such as, a helicopter transfer from Denpasar airport to the Alila Villa Sooris. In this regard, Ministry of Villas stands apart from all other accommodation aggregators in Asia.
TL: What is the Ministry of Villas’ process for bringing a private villa online in Asia? What quality standards are you consistently looking for to ensure that the offering is appealing to the most discerning traveller?
AS: Today, given the explosion of private accommodation options, we are becoming a kind of Michelin-star guide for villas here in Asia. Our ‘Ministry Approved’ programme assures the quality of each villa present on our website, with only the very best being offered.
We travel all over Asia in search of new and unique villas, discovering hidden gems along the way. Our process includes a personal inspection by our team to ensure that they are exactly as they appear online, including details, such as, the quality of building materials used, bed linen, staff training, and location.
As previously mentioned, we believe that the quality of the property managers is the most important aspect of renting private accommodation, so we only work with property management companies and villa owners with utmost credibility.
TL: Some of the villa inventory is part of an existing hotel, such as Alila and Aman. What type of hotel brands and criteria are you targeting?
AS: We’ve already seen the first wave of demand, a shift from traditional hotel accommodation to villas.
Now, the second phase of this demand is emerging, and we are seeing luxury hotel brands, such as Alila, Aman, and Hyatt focus a portion or all their inventory into large private villa design within their compounds. Private villa stays provide the ultimate luxury experience where the world revolves around you with private pools, personal chefs, not to mention butlers!
Naturally, we want to partner with properties that provide the privacy of a villa with 5-star service. I predict these brands will reclaim a lot of market share back from private owners, since they have the infrastructure and experience to deliver higher levels of guest satisfaction.
TL: What is the maximum number of bedrooms included in any one villa and what is the average length of stay?
AS: The bulk of customers are looking for a three and four-bedroom villas to accommodate their family or a group of friends for an average stay of one week. However, we also have 10-bedroom, 15-bedroom, even private islands with more options to cater for multi-generational family reunions, weddings, and corporate retreats.
TL: For consumers, sorting through hundreds of villa options can be overwhelming. How can the Ministry of Villas help consumers find the perfect villa for their holiday?
AS: We listen. Every traveller on earth is unique – we each dream of something different when we go to bed at night. Finding the perfect villa for every individual guest is what we live for! Our villa specialists take the time to learn what you want, to get a sense of what style of villa you’re looking for, and we help narrow the list of options accordingly.
Within our online platform, our search filters go beyond simply the number of guests, bedrooms, and price offering additional filters, such as, ‘Be Inspired’ which includes options; such as, Breath Taking Views, Celebrate in Style, Fantastic for Families and Incredible Value to help you find the perfect villa for your holiday.
TL: How do you accommodate consumers’ needs for concierge services and amenities commonly found in a hotel; including, excursions, activities, dining recommendations, drivers, airport transfers, and security?
AS: We believe adding personal service to the equation was needed to make booking a villa holiday a truly luxurious and stress-free experience. We focus on service by providing a concierge for local information and assistance; such as, booking chauffeurs, in-house chefs, even babysitters.
We make sure you are being looked after from the moment you touch down and you are never left stranded. This starts with arranging a chauffeur to meet you at the airport and escort you to your villa. This detail is very important. When booking through Airbnb, you are on your own, and it can be tricky finding a privately-owned property in a foreign country.
The service additions provided through Ministry of Villas mean that, not only will you have a great villa, but you will enjoy the services that are expected with a 5-star holiday.
TL: How does your partnership with Mastercard Priceless Cities enhance a consumer’s guest experience?
AS: Ministry of Villas was selected as the official villa partner for the iconic Mastercard Priceless campaigns in Bali, Thailand and Japan. This partnership allows customers paying for their villa stay with a Mastercard a selection of complimentary services to enhance their experience; including, an in-villa personal Thai masseuse, private Balinese dancers and authentic local BBQ, or a private chef that will come to your winter chalet in Japan and teach you how to cook traditional Japanese cuisine. You will find a Mastercard Priceless Cities link on our website to see all the options available.
TL: What are your favourite villas and what is it about the property that appeals to you?
AS: One of my personal favourites is Villa Stella in Bali. It’s a 3-bedroom palatial beachfront mansion in Bali, stretching over 1,000sqm, complete with personal butlers, chef and 24-hour security. Best of all, this villa starts from only USD $500 per night for 6 guests, so it really epitomises exceptional luxury for less than the cost of a 4-star hotel.
Villa Malouna in Koh Samui is a stunning absolute beachfront property, perfect for groups and especially families with every child’s dream escape of their own 8-bed fun zone. Your mornings will be spent watching fishermen cast their nets for the day’s catch, and in the evening, the poolside terraces provide a perfect vantage point to watch the exquisite sunsets.
Photography has been provided by Ministry of Villas.